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Systematic Reviews

Screening Results

Once you have completed your literature review and compiled all relevant literature, it is time to screen the results. The purpose of article screening is to eliminate studies that do not meet your inclusion criteria. Two independent reviewers should screen all studies, starting with a title and abstract screen, followed by a full-text screen. A third reviewer should resolve any conflicts.

During the title/abstract screening, for each reference, each reviewer should read the title and abstract and make a decision:

  • No: This article does not meet inclusion criteria and should not be included in our systematic review.
  • Maybe: There is not enough information in the title/abstract for me to make a decision (move to full-text screen).
  • Yes: This article appears to meet inclusion criteria so I would like it to move to the full-text screen.

During the full-text screening, for each reference, read the full-text and make a decision:

  • Include: This article meets inclusion criteria and should be included in our systematic review.
  • Exclude: This article does not meet inclusion criteria and should not be included in our systematic review.

Remember, all voting should be blinded, meaning your colleagues should be unable to see your votes until they have cast their own, and vice versa. 

We recommend that you use Covidence to screen your results.

PRISMA Flow Diagram

The PRISMA Flow Diagram depicts the flow of information through the different phases of a systematic review. It maps out the number of records identified, included and excluded, and the reasons for exclusions. This diagram will be included in your published systematic review.